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Luke's Understanding of Baptism in the Holy Spirit: A Pentecostal Dialogues with the Reformed Tradition

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In this article, Menzies notes that Reformed theologians have tended to read Luke's writings in the light of Paul's epistles. As a result, their theological reflection on the Spirit has centered more on his work in the Word and sacraments, the 'inner witness' of the Spirit, and less on his mission to the world. Additionally, this methodology has encouraged Reformed scholars to associate the Pentecostal gift (i.e. Spirit baptism) with conversion and regeneration. However, through an examination of key passages in Luke-Acts, Menzies argues that Luke has a unique contribution to make to a holistic biblical theology of the Spirit. Luke's understanding of baptism in the Holy Spirit is different from that of Paul. It is missiological rather than soteriological in nature. The Spirit of Pentecost is, in reality, the Spirit for others - the Spirit that compels and empowers the church to bring the 'good news' of Jesus to a lost and dying world. It is this Lukan, missiological perspective that shapes a Pentecostal understanding of baptism in the Holy Spirit. Menzies concludes that the clarity and vigor of Luke's message is lost when his narrative is read through Pauline lenses. Luke has a distinctive voice and it is a voice the church needs to hear.


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